Driving to Phillip Island, Victoria

phillip island driving

This is where we headed on our second day in Melbourne, Victoria. We headed out of the city to see penguins!

vline cowes

It’s essential to have a car when you go to Phillip Island. The attractions are all spread out and the famed Melbourne public transport system does not extend that far. The V/Line bus will drop you at Cowes – it’s the main in Phillip Island.

koala

A lot of people think Phillip Island is all about penguins. That’s the most famous attraction but there are other things to see too.

phillip island 3 parks

Ling got an iVenture card which allows us to choose 5 different attractions for AUD 130. One if them is a 3 parks pass in Phillip Island (includes Penguin Parade).

driving phillip island

I recommend you drive down from Melbourne though – it only takes about 90 minutes by car but the V/Line coach takes 3-5 hours, depending on whether the bus is direct or stops at stations along the way. The direct route starts from Dandenong and stops at Anderson and Koo Wee Rup.

vehicle rental agreement

The car was only registered under my name as the driver though. You only need a valid credit card and driver’s licence. There also might be restrictions to where you can drive – check out the name of the excluded areas. Haha!

rented car

We rented a car for AUD 88 (about RM 300) per day. You can use your Malaysian driving licence over there. I drove most of the time and got Ling to drive too so she could say that she has driven in Melbourne (albeit at a car park in quiet Nobbies).

kangaroo

She wanted to see kangaroos so we drove to Wildlife Park. It’s a open range in Phillip Island and has wallabies and kangaroos which runs hops around you!

feed kangaroo

The wallaby and kangaroo population is very friendly. They’re used to humans around them and expect to be fed. The latter can be slightly aggressive when they see you and come hopping over to get fed while wallabies need a bit of coaxing.

feeding wallaby

I reckon wallabies are shy by nature – I tried to get close to a wild wallaby in 2002 when I was studying in Melbourne but was unsuccessful. I got to feed a wallaby two years ago in 2011 though, but that was in a park as well.

emu

There’s also a scary looking emu there. Huge bird. Slightly intimidating. :x

I took a video of me feeding it the cassowary.

koala conservation center

The Koala Conservation Center in Phillip Island isn’t anything to shout about. There are koalas in trees but most of them are sleeping. I think Ling expected to see more koalas but it’s actually quite hard to see large populations nowadays and you can’t pet them unless it’s in a zoo.

cone

She was also apprehensive coz we passed a sign that said: Beware of Hidden Snakes!

sleeping koala

It’s probably the lowland copperhead (which is common in Phillip Island) instead of the eastern brown snake (3rd most venomous snake in the world – gotta look out for it in Melbourne). The latter is a highly aggressive snake while the lowland copperhead is pretty much harmless (most snakes avoid confrontation with humans) even though it’s also venomous.

phillip island roads

It doesn’t help that the trees are brown in color too and could easily hide an invisible snake. smirk

driving

We spent a while at the koala park in Phillip Island, strolled through the new koala treetop walk, took a couple of photos and headed down to the Nobbies. I love that place so much, I’ll write about it in the next post, coz my camera battery ran out of juice and I had to use Ling’s phone to take photos.

bed breakfast

This is the view out of our honeymoon suite at a guest house there. Phillip Island is more than just the Penguin Parade. There’s a lot of things to do there, we stayed at a nice place and had a lot of fun. Most people just come for day trips so the population is predominantly island folks but if you stay, the hospitality is amazing!

phillip island couple

Just remember that you need a car to get around for food and attractions coz everything is far away and there are only a couple of taxis operating…on the entire island! :)

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35 thoughts on “Driving to Phillip Island, Victoria

    • Thanks for the info bro! :)

      I call all big birds from Australia emus. Haha! It’s a very menacing bird, don’t know why they let people feed it like that. The bird’s beak shredded the paper bag.

      Interesting video – cheers for that, changed my video title to “cassowary”.

    • Haha! I’ve never eaten a koala before. ;)

      I doubt I can, they’re few around nowadays, and very protected. I wonder what it tastes like.

      You can eat kangaroo anytime, too many of them around, the meat is even sold at Coles.

    • Yeah, the roads are very straight and the scenery is amazing! :)

      It’s a different kind of beauty from Great Ocean Road.

      You have to watch out for the speed limit coz the roads are very well paved – hit 100 km/h easily, but in town the speed limit is 80 km/h.

      Cheers mate!

  1. Hah!!! That was the fir cones I picked up when I was in Melbourne but they were confiscated by the New Zealand customs. Tsk! Tsk! I had intended to bring them home to Sibu to hang on my Christmas tree.

    • Yeah, I read bout that! :)

      The cones are nice, lots of them on campus and it’s beautiful to keep around. I wanted to bring one back too, but wasn’t sure it could pass customs. I did bring some back when I was studying there but flights are much stricter nowadays.

      It would be nice on a Christmas tree!

    • Haha! No worries, we would have done that too if we were pressed for time. :)

      I just wanted to book this really nice honeymoon suite, we both loved the place, it’s beautiful. I’ll post about it later today.

    • I’ve been to Phillip Island for the Penguin Parade before when I was studying there 10 years ago. :)

      I wanted Ling to see the koalas and kangaroos too, and I found a really nice place to stay (amazing honeymoon suite) – it’s actually a bed & breakfast but we had an entire wing to ourselves with a long balcony overlooking the fields and sea! :D

    • Haha! Yeah, Ling hates snakes too. :)

      I used to have a pet ball python, I like the reptilian but I don’t like spiders. Spiders gives me the creeps and they have HUGE ones in Australia.

      • Wud? U kept a phython as pet? *PENGSAN* I cried even at the mere sight of the harmless albino phython in Zoo Negara. =.= Hates everything slimy! Memang memalukan though, cuz I know the thing is harmless.

        But glad to know that Ling is afraid of snakes too… LOL… at least I know I’m not the only scaredy cat here. Hahahah!

        • Yeah, a ball python is a very small python. :)

          You can keep it in a terranium but it escapes easily. Snakes are not slimy, their skins are smooth despite having scales and their body is cold, very nice for our weather.

          Haha! Everyone is afraid of something, I really hate large spiders with long legs that jumps in your face. :x

    • Yeah, it was a lot of fun driving in Australia! :)

      Beats driving in KL any day. People are generally more courteous on the road, and Phillip Island is pretty empty most of the time anyway. Awesome straight roads and great scenery.

      Not street lights at night though, got pretty lost while getting food at midnight.

    • Yup! You can pat it but I don’t recommend hugging it.

      I tried with the kangaroo but it hopped away. :)

      Gotta be careful though, they’ll kick if they’re irritated…but mostly they just hop away. Be gentle, don’t startle them, and you’ll be fine – we both got to pet the kangaroos and wallabies. :D

      Yeah, found out that it’s a cassowary, which is a very dangerous bird – one of only two species that kills people. I call all big birds from Australia emus but this is another flavor of aggressive bird.

  2. I am glad we make it to the Phillip Island and our kind host managed to get us a car at the very last mins. Else how to see koala, penguins and kangaroo…..

    • Yup! It was good of her to arrange the car for us. :)

      Very hospitable, would recommend the guest house to anyone. Pity about the flowers misunderstanding though. Haha!

      The car rental lady is also very funny, I remember the dog that looks fierce but is actually very manja and how she said that if you can drive in Malaysia, you can drive anywhere. :D

  3. I am utterly scared of snakes!!!

    I remember my Philip island visit. Fun sums it all. The koalas are cute..but you’re right. They actually sleep most of the time..if I am not wrong 20 hours of a day!

    • I’m not scared of snakes at all – would even pick them up, if they’re not the poisonous type or too heavy that it’ll constrict me. I wouldn’t go near a spider though. Urgh. :x

      I like the Nobbies too – it’s a very chill place – looks out to the sea, bracing breeze, blowholes. It’s beautiful!

      Yup, koalas sleep most of the day away. :D

  4. I had always known that Australia houses a variety of poisonous snakes, but didn’t know that they were that dangerous.

    Maybe I should’ve tried to bring back the fir cones from Auckland. =D The koalas are so cute and furry; someone had gifted me with a mini-sized koala.

    • I think Australia has a lot of *dangerous birds* too. The cassowary has attacked and killed people before, they’re quite aggressive.

      Even behind the halls of residence, they’re birds every year that swoops down and tries to peck your eyes out. People are blinded or hurt by them each year during mating season and when they are taking care of their eggs.

      There are signs up advising you to watch your eyes or wear eye protection.

      Nice! Yeah, I think they’re cute too but they’re very quiet – koalas I mean. :)

    • You can get the promo fares! :)

      It’s quite cheap then, although I personally paid RM 1,800+ for my return flight tickets.

      Kangaroos are delicious too, it’s sold for meat in major supermarkets in Australia like Coles. :D

  5. Your Melbourne posts remind me so much about my trip back in Sept 2011. I blogged a lot of similar stuff as you did too ;) We stayed in Sunderland Bay in Philip Island…it was an absolutely lovely place!! I’m one of Ling’s readers and decided to follow your blog now cos I can’t access her blog anymore (dunno why, sigh…).

    • Hello there! :)

      Thanks for reading! Sunderland Bay is nice! We stayed at Cowes, at a private guesthouse with a honeymoon suite, going to blog about that coz it’s an awesome place.

      Hmm…could it be the Great Firewall of China? I think it blocks blogs from Blogger but not self hosted – I could access mine when I was traveling in China.

    • Yeah, it was a lot of fun! :)

      I went back to Melbourne after 10 years away. Haha! I wanted to visit my old campus too (in Clayton) but we didn’t have enough time.

      Next time! :D

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